Social networks are excellent places to develop a rapport with customers and increase your qualified leads. This is especially important for a technology company marketing plan, since a key element to building your brand is showing you are in tune with the latest technology.
But the social media blogosphere is a big, loud, confusing place (sort of like New York City at rush hour during the Puerto Rican Day Parade), so how does one even begin to use social networking to grow their business? Here are the ABCs of social media marketing that will grow your technology company.
1. How to create posts
Before you start typing, you must consider how to create posts for maximum business benefits. Let’s take a look at how to do this:
Write posts however you want, regardless of the format
Many social media bloggers feel obliged to remain constrained within the confines of a social network’s limited parameters. You shouldn’t make this mistake.
Twitter, for instance, is famous for its 140 character format. As a result, most Twitter users will create posts well below 140 characters. Instead, you can engage users with long-form posts that are broken down into multiple tweets. This is a great way to either gain the attention of followers by flooding their timeline with a single message, or keep people coming back in anticipation of your next entry.
Make sure that all topics are relevant to your business
You don’t want random followers for your social media accounts. You want potential sales leads for your technology business. As such, you must run your social networking accounts in a manner that attracts the right kinds of people. It's okay to get off topic occasionally for the entertainment of your followers, but the majority of your posts should be tech-related. In addition to your own content, you should post content of other people who your target audience knows and respects.
2. What to include in posts
Now that you know how to structure your social media posts, let’s look at what should be in them:
Informative, entertaining content
Your social media microblogging efforts are not about your business. This is an inbound marketing endeavor; as such, everything you do should focus on benefitting your followers. This means that all of your content should either inform or entertain people--or both.
Include media whenever it makes sense
Studies have shown that images do a much better job at captivating casual social media scrollers than prose alone (tweets with images receive 150% more retweets and about 90% more favorites). As long as they're relevant, you should attach images or videos to your posts.
Leverage the power of your tech blog
You have been working very hard to develop your tech blog as an inbound marketing resource (you do have one right?). You can leverage this quality content to aid your social networking efforts in seconds by simply sharing content from your blog.
3. How to maximize the impact of posts
Now that you know how to structure your posts and what they should include, it’s time to learn how to get your posts most attention possible.
Get the timing right
Some people follow thousands of social media pages. This means that timelines are constantly flooded with an endless array of media. The only way to stand out on the timelines of your followers is to post when they are most likely to be active. There are plenty of automated resources that can help you with this.
Mention other people
People love being mentioned. If a follower mentions you, you like someone else’s post or you otherwise deem a page noteworthy, let the world know by mentioning them in your posts. This is a great way to endear followers, gain attention and broaden your influence.
Get the hashtags right
Typing a #pound sign before a phrase is a great way to attract relevant users to your social networking accounts, because these #hashtags serve as more powerful versions of the keywords used for SEO inbound marketing. Hashtagging isn't just a Twitter thing either. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and even Google + use hashtags now, so you should use them consistently.
4. How to transform social media attention into sales leads
Now that you know how to get people to love you on social media, let's look at a couple of ways to use this to benefit your business.
People love winning stuff. #enoughsaid
Offer social networking rewards
Offering to email people discounts or special offers by contacting you on a social network is a great way to generate leads and expand your email marketing list.
Post links to your lead generation landing pages
You're creating premium lead generation offers for your target audience, right? If they're useful and relevant, you should post landing pages on your social media networks. Careful! You don't want to come across as a used car salesman - here's a formula to help you gauge how often to post your landing pages on your social networks.
Becoming a force on social media is possible for your tech company
Whether you are a small startup or a decades old tech company, you need to use social networking as an inbound marketing tool to thrive. Following the steps above will give you the edge you need to succeed.